The murder trial of an Indian-origin man found dead in an alleyway in west London last year changed course at a London court on Tuesday when the accused pleaded guilty to the killing.
Manpreet Singh, 21, admitted murder of 37-year-old Baljit Singh on the second day of a trial at Isleworth Crown Court and will be sentenced at the same court on Wednesday, the Metropolitan Police said.
Baljit, who lived in the Hayes area of west London, was pronounced dead at the scene after the Met Police and London Ambulance Service were called to Station Road on April 25, 2020. Officers from the Met Police’s Specialist Crime Command (Homicide) opened the murder investigation soon after.
“Baljit Singh suffered a brutal and sustained assault at the hands of Manpreet Singh – an assault which cost him his life,” said Detective Inspector Adam Guttridge from the department.
“From what we know, Baljit would not have been in a position to defend himself given his slight frame and the amount of alcohol that he had consumed that evening. Manpreet snapped in anger and took advantage of the circumstances to carry out this horribly violent attack. His problems with drink and his lifestyle may have played a part in the events that night, but they offer no excuse for taking another man’s life in such a vicious way,” he said.
The court heard how Manpreet had only met Baljit in the weeks prior to the attack, after travelling down from Birmingham to London with a mutual acquaintance in seek of work. The pair had briefly lived together but had fallen out just prior to the attack.
Since then, Manpreet, who was struggling with excessive drinking, had been living on the streets with his friend. In spite of this, on the day of the murder all three met up in the early evening and drank together at a venue on Uxbridge Road in Hayes.
Baljit was extremely drunk by the end of the evening and left with Manpreet and their friend.
CCTV footage captured the three of them walking together, with Baljit struggling to stay upright. Just after 2200 hours local time, Manpreet and Baljit entered an alleyway off Station Road where Manpreet launched his deadly assault.
Baljit’s body was discovered 45 minutes later by a passer-by and the London Ambulance Service were called but nothing could be done to save his life.
A post-mortem examination found that Baljit had suffered 20 injuries, including broken bones in his neck, sternum and ribs, along with various bruises and lacerations.
Manpreet was arrested and initially he denied being with Baljit around the time of the murder. However, after being shown CCTV footage of the pair he changed his story, admitting he had been with him but continued to deny the attack. This changed with his guilty plea in the case this week.
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